“Jack Hayford locates effectual prayer at the center of Kingdom living, which is also in the midst of the cosmic

battle between good and evil. Everyone lives in that battle, whether they know it or not, and most of what really matters occurs in the fine texture of our lives with those closest to us. To be able to work with God in prayer for the good of those we love is a great gift of grace, but we must act with understanding to secure it. Pastor Hayford places the human heart under the microscope of Scripture to reveal the inner dynamics of a life that pulls those closest to us into the loving sway of God’s actions. What Pastor Hayford leads us into is healthy, strong, effectual and theologically deep. If you would like to see dear ones moved toward God, he tells you how. If a wide range of self-identified Christians studied and followed this book, the churches and the moral and spiritual climate of our world would change radically. My best advice is to read it and put it into practice.”
—Dallas Willard, bestselling author, The Divine Conspiracy; professor of philosophy, University of Southern California

“As everyone familiar with the wonderful writings of Jack Hayford would expect, this book is rich with all we need to understand how to intercede powerfully for the people we care about most. It is rich in Scripture-based teaching, personal experience, practical advice and helpful instruction. Jack Hayford was my pastor for 23 years and taught me nearly everything I know about prayer, yet this book has newly inspired me to pray. I am hopeful and joyfully expectant on a deeper level than ever as I await the answers to these prayers. Everyone wanting to learn how to maximize their prayer impact should know that this book is a gift for them and they would do well to open it.”
—Stormie Omartian, bestselling author, The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Husband, The Power of a Praying Woman and many others

“For more than thirty years, Pastor Jack Hayford has been a valued, respected voice to the Body of Christ—especially in the areas of worship, life in the Spirit and prayer. In the days we are living in, I can’t think of anything more important than the subject of

this book—praying for those you love. Pastor Jack’s profound yet practical insights into this subject will fill you with hope and move you into a passionate pursuit of praying for the people you love! I urge you to read this book.”
—Michael W. Smith, singer/songwriter

“Jack Hayford has been one of my most important spiritual mentors for many years. His spiritual intimacy with Christ, personal integrity and biblical knowledge make him a trusted guide and beloved pastor. This book, Praying for Those You Love, is powerful and insightful. It not only has the ability to change your life, but it can change the legacy of your family for generations.”
—Jimmy Evans, founder and president, MarriageToday

“For more than 25 years, Jack Hayford has been my pastor, spiritual father and teacher of all things God. One of the many qualities he exudes brilliantly is balance. Praying for Those You Love is one more wonderful example. I was freshly reminded that God entrusts us to plant the seeds, and then we entrust Him to bring the harvest. We are called to fight and we are instructed to rest. There is a time to let go yet persevere in prayer. This book is a practical and encouraging teaching on the privilege of partnering with God—heaven on earth.”
—Lisa Whelchel, bestselling author, Creative Correction and The Facts of Life and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me

“Pastor Jack Hayford has done it again! Praying for Those You Love captivated me from the first word. I was stirred, convicted and inspired by the Holy Spirit in an area in which I need and want to go deeper. As a pastor, I knew immediately that my life and the church where I pastor would never be the same. This book is a must-read for every believer and church leader. Your life and the lives of those you love will forever be changed!”
—Pastor Robert Morris, senior pastor, Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas; bestselling author, The Blessed Life

The SecreTS of InTerceSSory

Prayer
Jack Hayford

G

© 2009 by Jack Hayford Previously published under the title Praying for Those You Love Published by Chosen Books 11400 Hampshire Avenue South Bloomington, Minnesota 55438 www.chosenbooks.com Chosen Books is a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand rapids, Michigan Printed in the United States of America All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data is available for this title. ISBN 978-0-8007-9545-0 Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations identified THE MESSAGE are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations identified KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible. Cover design by Kirk douPonce, dogEared design

contents
foreword by darlene Zschech 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 a divine Invitation to Partnership 9 The original Splintering 17 War against the Spirit of Separation 27 doing your Part and Letting God do His 43 Basic Promises to apply 49 Promises and Patterns for reaching People 57 Heirs Together of the Grace of Life 75 your Prayers are decisive! 81 Upon your Sons and daughters 89 comforting one another in Prayer 101 Praying for Someone you don’t Want to Pray for 115 How to Pray without ceasing 131 framing a family Picture 149 afterword: Having done all, Stand 157 appendix a: a Prayer for receiving christ as Lord and Savior 161 appendix B: a Prayer for Inviting the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit 165 5

Foreword

O

ur God is one of relationship. He is passionate about our relationship with Him and our relationships with each other. It’s how we are wired and designed, each one made in the image of our Creator—to nurture, love and care for others both in our immediate sphere and beyond. Psalm 133 says that where there is unity, God commands a blessing, so it should be of no surprise that the area where there is most potential for much blessing across the earth is also the area facing insidious attack and catastrophic breakdown, which, in turn, has affected every sphere of our society. Pastor Jack has poured his heart, wisdom and experience into these pages, as he explores the reason for such tension within relationships and instructs us on how to pray effectively, with all we are, over those we love and those in our sphere of influence, whatever the past has looked like. The power of God’s redemptive plan for us covers every experience that has brought much heartache—that His plan includes restoration and a new beginning. 7

The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer

I know in my own life, and I am sure in yours, the most painful experiences have been where relationship has been fractured or where misunderstandings have caused such deep distress that wading your way back to strength in these matters may have seemed much easier to put in the impossible category. But it is right here, in the seemingly unbearable, that our God still reigns. He is the God of the impossible, for when we are weak, He is strong and ever faithful to reside over the promise of His Word.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, the message

I know your heart will be stirred to action as you read, and I for one am ever grateful for the life of our dear friend Pastor Jack as he once again leads the way.
Much love always, darlene Zschech

8

h
A divine Invitation to Partnership
Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. . . . And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced.” Mark 4:2–4, 7–8

1

W

hether you are married, a parent, a relative, a pastor of a congregation or simply a person with good friends 9

The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer

who are close enough to you to be “dear,” to be loved, let me begin by asking you two questions: • Are you aware that the living, loving God who made you, each of them and me, loves them too, and at a depth of love neither you nor I can fathom? • Would you feel profited to discover principles of partnership with Him, whereby your prayers for their well-being— especially if they are either indifferent, distant or even opposed to a relationship—would become focused with spiritual clarity and faith in His Word, thereby becoming more than guesswork? My guess is that your answer has been yes to those inquiries even before I asked them here. Most people’s are, because most people not only have “loved ones” of family or social relationship, but also believe God is not only real, He is love. And He is. Now, without seeming to have framed a book of questions rather than answers, or at least help, please let me ask one more. I qualify for all five types of people named in the opening sentence of this book. As a husband, a parent, a friend or relative of many, I have often been troubled by the difficulties of loved ones, including those who have chosen to omit God from their lives. Naturally, that last issue holds ultimate concern for me, but I am never dispassionate about other issues, however temporal. As a pastor, however, there is a distinct—a twofold—burden of privileged responsibility I have borne for the more than forty years of my ministry. I not only need faith and fidelity to live a life of prayer for my flock, I also need wisdom and insight into God’s Word 10

A divine Invitation to Partnership

to enable me to teach others how to pray effectively with confidence, emboldened, with human and holy discernment and with the Holy Spirit’s power. All that said, here is the third question: Even if you are not a church leader as I am called to be, what would you do if God stepped into your study and spoke these words to you?
Tell the people this: My people, as you look around and you see marriages dissolving in one home after another; as you see young people drifting into increasingly destructive practices; as you note the declining commitment of those around you who are drifting from the moorings of honoring God’s Person, Word and ways—understand: This is not more cultural happenstance. It is a blitzkrieg from the darkness—a frontal attack of calculated and evil dimensions plotted by the adversary of God, man and all that is good, and being advanced by cunning, demonic hordes who can only be blocked in one way: prayer. Call the people to pray. Teach them to counterattack. Unveil My Word to them so that, by calling on Me through the grace I readily give when they invoke the name of My Son, they may unleash My power. As they accept this partnership I call them to, praying that My Kingdom may enter the world of those they love “on earth,” I will answer them by My Spirit’s power—working My will “as it is in heaven.”

Well, that is really what happened. I don’t mean, of course, that God stepped into my office in the sense of physical appearance. rather He made His presence and will known by the means He has revealed in His eternal Word of truth—the Holy Bible. In that book, which is the ultimate authority on all life’s issues, both eternal and temporal, He says that He will speak at times to people by “prophecy.” In this use, prophecy 11

The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer

is not a reference to anything arbitrary or arcane—God is never random; nor is He weird. (Toss out the pundits who publish cleverly cast guesswork or the goofs who claim to be plumbing “inner wisdom within us all.”) Thus I took seriously what was spoken to me—not because I think I am smarter than others, but because I am sure God is. And His Word says He will give the gift of such revelations to awaken us to issues we need to deal with—personally, as a group or congregation or as a nation. We must be consummately clear that such prophecies, for example, the “word” I received that day, are infinitely less in authority than the Bible—His unchanging written Word. When He breathes these prophecies into our understanding, He expects us to measure what we hear and be guided in our response by the principles established in Scripture. This book, then, is among the responses that seek to address the means by which people like us can confront the blitzkrieg—the wave of forces that seek to destroy the wellbeing, homes, families and marriages of ones we love, and drag many dear souls we care about down a pathway of eternal loss. It is time for you and me to awaken—but not to a frenzy of fear. With passion rooted in understanding we can learn to pray for God’s intervening goodness in the lives of those we love. The prayers will vary—a child may be wandering from God; a best friend may need strength for a difficult task; a marital relationship may be strained; a fellow laborer in ministry may need healing or guidance or mercy. regardless of the cries of our hearts, the fact that we are living in a crisis of human and spiritual need means it is 12

A divine Invitation to Partnership

an opportune moment for the entry of God’s grace, goodness and power. That is why I can smile as I write, though I feel the issue at hand is critical, and why I can sleep at night, though dear ones are deep in problems that I do not take lightly. I want you to approach this book as a source of great encouragement, not only to engage earnest prayer for God’s intervention, but also to pray with clear-headed faith and practical wisdom that lay hold of the power of partnership with almighty God. God’s will that the affairs of humankind be managed via partnership with Him goes back to the beginning. He has indicated His desire to release His power in our world when we request it from His throne. It is the truth at the core of the best known prayer in the world, taught to us by His Son, Jesus the Christ, who said, “Pray this way: Our Father, who art in heaven, holy is Your name.” Then He gave the “partnership phrase” as a key: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I have pondered at length in other writings of mine the depth and dimension of that prayer, and the duties as well as privileges incumbent upon us as we respond to its instructive content. But the one phrase I will focus on as you open these pages with me is the partnership phrase. In short, God has said, “What you ask Me to do as we partner on earth, I’ll answer with My love, My power, My wisdom and in My time with all the force of heaven’s throne engaging whom and what you ask Me to engage.” Praying “for those you love” is obviously an arena into which God wants us to welcome His power and works. In the midst of unparalleled challenges to our families, along 13

The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer

with the severe problems and confused circumstances of others we love, we have an incomparable opportunity to answer it all by taking action in prayer in ways we may have never understood. The Bible often uses agricultural terms to express God’s ways, and He addresses the blessing (or the curse) of a harvest with clarity: He wants to bring people into a harvest of blessing! But He has placed the seed in our hands, giving us promises, saying, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7) It is as clear as it can be. God is saying, “You take your role in our earth-side setting, and I will answer with My works and wisdom from my heaven-side throne.” Jesus relayed this truth in a similar way, describing a farmer who went out to sow seeds. He told how some seeds fell off to the side, and birds swooped in and devoured them. Interpreting the metaphor He asserted, “The sower sows the Word and there are some who hear it. But then, like birds of the air, Satan comes and snatches away the Word that was sown in their hearts, thwarting the good things God wants to do” (see Mark 4:3–4, 14–15). Jesus also said in this parable that sometimes seeds take root and hold the promise of a harvest, but then they are overtaken by thorns and yield no crop. He told His followers that this refers to the enemy coming into the midst of good seeds and sowing that which is diminishing and destructive. Jesus labeled them “tares” or “weeds,” sown by an intruder to choke out God’s intended best. These distractions and deceptions take from people—people like those we love—everything God has benevolently willed for their lives. 14

A divine Invitation to Partnership

When the Savior identified the intruder as Satan (see Mark 4:15), He meant to open our eyes to the fact that life issues, including praying, are not mystical, but they do require our perceiving ongoing spiritual conflict in the invisible realm. Prayer in all regards takes a new frame of reference when we understand the war between God’s Kingdom and Satan’s dark hordes. This battle, insofar as it involves earth, is one in which God has called us to engage, enlisting us as “knee-soldiers” whose prayer-call for the “incoming” of God’s Kingdom will welcome a barrage of God’s power to break through the darkness and bring deliverance to people we know. So join me in “seeing the invisible,” the non-mystical reality God’s Word reveals. Let us recall the apostle Paul’s words: “Brothers, we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against hosts of evil spirits in the invisible realm” (see Ephesians 6:12). And recognizing that God has called us to “sow” unto a holy harvest, know that it will not be realized without a battle. The adversary is a formidable foe, but we need not fear. We take our stance in prayer before God’s throne, and He is unimpeachable. Further, He has given His Holy Spirit to fill and empower us, and “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, kjv). True, the enemy is hard at work. But I want us to see, in contrast to evil snatchings and tares of confusion and disruption in our midst, that you and I hold an important place in helping to bring the Lord’s harvest to fruition: There is another outcome for seeds that God sows. See it as you revisit the promise of Psalm 126:6—an “all seasons” promise: Those who go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall 15

The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer

come again at the time of harvest with joy, bringing their sheaves with them. I call this an “all seasons” promise because it notes how sowing in prayer is often attended by weeping—tears that sometimes reflect the pain our hearts feel over the needs of those we love. I want to urge you to join me in the possibility of tears born in prayer for another reason: passion . . . and eventual joy. Prayer that wars against the darkness by stepping before the eternal throne of God’s glorious light and presence will never remain dispassionate. And further, as we do so—as we plant His heaven-given promises in the soil of earth’s human brokenness, confusion and need—the passion of faith will burst into joyous confidence that God’s will will prevail! If hell is pulling out all the stops against marriages, homes and families—against spouses, children and others we love— heaven is ready to answer with victory. The one requirement? Answer God’s loving call . . . just as I have since He “stopped by my office” that day, charging me to Call the people to pray. Teach them to counterattack. Unveil My Word to them so that, by calling on Me through the grace I readily give when they invoke the name of My Son, they may unleash My power. As they accept this partnership I call them to, praying that My Kingdom may enter the world of those they love “on earth,” I will answer them by My Spirit’s power—working My will “as it is in heaven.” Let’s prepare ourselves and pray. In the next chapter, we will review briefly the battle’s beginning, see why the need is so great that we stay rooted in faith-filled prayer, and learn how God made a way for us to come to Him and conquer through Him. 16

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